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Miss Charming's Bar & Cocktail Forum

Welcome thirsty surfers! This forum is intended for cOol cats, hiP bartenders, tOtally rad surfer dudes, beer chuggin' bArflies, extraOrdinary servers, wacKy wannabe's, and all others interested in the marTini-drinking, shot-shoOting, jeTset, poP culture, fun-lOving, goOd-time, cocktail world. Jump right in. The water is fine.

Miss Charming's Bar & Cocktail Forum
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What does it take!?!

I don't get it... I want to be a bartender, but it feels like I'm trying to break into some kind of "Cool Kids Club", It's almost like you already have to some how have already been a bartender to get a job. I understand experience is necessary at some fast-paced establishments but common! EVERYWHERE!? For my most recent interview I spoke to one of the bar managers at Hotel Del Coronado inquiring about a barback position. He told me that he was looking for someone with a bit of experience. My responce was that I'm sure I could move ice with the best of them, but he wasn't amused. He responded with "have you thought about being a busboy?" This time I wasn't amused, "A busboy, are you serious?" I all but told him to **** off.
Here's a quick look at my background: I'm almost 23 and I've been an in side sales man for just over 4yrs, 1 of which I was a manager. The store I came from does just as much business as his Hotel Del bar (3million annually).
I'm used to dealing with and entertaining clientele; I'm used to working in a fast paced environment just not a bar environment and that seems to be a major handicap, even with a bartending school certificate.
I don't get it. What does it take?
I might as well not have gotten a certificate, not have had extensive customer service experience, and not bothered with college which is supposed to show some kind of commitment to learning and work.
Suggestions are more than welcome.

Re: What does it take!?!

Ok guys I was really hoping to get a response with some insight. I've been looking around this forum and other bartending message boards and it looks like the only way to break into the industry is to LIE. Really is this industry so hardnosed that inorder to become apart of it you have to pretend that you already are? Or is my other option to start as a busboy, move up to server, then barback, then finally bartender? I've got a gut feeling that I wouldn't be able to support myself as a busboy.
Oh well back to being an IMer

Re: What does it take!?!

Hi B,

Basically, the position of "bartender" is not an entry level position. Managers want to see your work ethics, attendance, ability to sell a lot, team player capabilities, blah blah....

Have you read through this page yet?:


Re: What does it take!?!

I agree with Cheryl. A bartending position is not an entry level position. You have to have experience to get a bartending job. Going to a bartending school is not enough experience.

Please read this page that I wrote: How to Become a Bartender

If you need more information, please let me know.

Re: What does it take!?!

Thanks Cheryl and Jose.
Guess I'll start at the bottom part time.